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Website Design Tip: You Might Have an Outdated Website If…

Old material will deter visitors from coming back and could damage SEO rankings.

As Google continues to modify its search algorithm to reward what it considers the “best” websites with treasured Page 1 rankings, companies with older websites may find themselves falling to the cutting room floor.

What worked five, eight, 10 years ago, likely isn’t as effective next to shiny new competitor websites that have been optimized to meet Google’s updated search standards.

In order for your website to perform to its full potential, a commitment to ongoing maintenance is a required. This is necessary for higher Google rankings and will prevent your site from looking dated. But, over time, even the most well-maintained websites will eventually need a redesign.

Here are some website design tipoffs that will tell you if your site is outdated and in need of an update or redesign.

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1484 Hits

Do You Have an ADA-Compliant Website?

Disabilities are far more common than most people realize.

When most people think of the Americans with Disability Act, they think of physical barriers, like buildings without ramps or elevators.

But the ADA applies to websites as well, and companies are being sued for having inaccessible websites.

Common Problems

You may want to say, “I don’t get any disabled website visitors,” but you have no way of knowing that, and disabilities are far more common than most people realize. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 56.7 million U.S. residents (18.7% of the population) have some sort of disability, and 38.3 million residents (12.6%) have a severe disability.

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1436 Hits

Pilot Fish celebrates 25th anniversary of Internet marketing excellence

We were there at the forefront and continue to offer our clients SEO expertise derived from many years of practical experience.

My, how time flies when you’re having fun! Pilot Fish is celebrating 25 years in the Internet marketing industry, through our affiliated business Polysort.com, which was founded in 1995 as the first online portal for the plastics and rubber industry.

And, my, how things have changed over the last 25 years!  When we started Polysort.com, it was the Wild, Wild West back then, and we cut our teeth teaching plastics and rubber companies how to setup email accounts and build their first websites. 

Very few companies had websites in 1995, so helping plastics and rubber companies build their online presence became our primary business,which is just a part of our mission today.

With the launch of Google in 1998 and its subsequent growth, search engine optimization become a must-have for every industrial company's marketing toolkit. That's where Pilot Fish stepped in.  

As inquiries increased from non-polymer businesses and the need for SEO grew, Pilot Fish became our website development and SEO arm, providing Internet marketing services not only to plastics and rubber companies, but also to other industrial businesses in a variety of markets, including medical, packaging, woodworking, construction products, chemical, machinery and more.    

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8997 Hits

Does Your Industrial Website Factor in Millennial Buyers?

Millennials value user-generated content and, in particular, customer reviews more so than company claims of performance.

We hear a lot of news coverage about the impact that the millennial generation (those born from 1981-1996) will have on our society. But what about your business? Younger millennials have grown up with computers and the internet as an integral part of their lives. So, not surprisingly, they’re accustomed to researching and shopping online and have much different expectations of websites than folks in older generations.

Engineers, purchasing managers, company owners in the millennial generation are viewing your site in significant numbers. And their impact on your business is increasing with each passing year. Is your website set up to meet the needs of these tech-savvy visitors?

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Minimalist Website Design -- Advantages, Disadvantages and Considerations

Although simple, a minimalist design still takes planning and can take just as long to design as regular website.

Minimalist website design is nothing new and is something that probably will never go out of style. It’s a “less is more” approach to displaying content, images and navigation.  It’s a style that is high on impact and low on bells and whistles.

So, what exactly is the purpose of minimalist design?  

A minimalist design is a very clean and simple approach to creating a layout, but the goal is to do so in such a way that the layout is still interesting and meaningful. Although a minimalist design is one of very few elements, each of these elements should be carefully chosen, sized and strategically placed with a purpose in mind—to draw immediate attention to a product or service without being hindered by unnecessary distractions.

Achieving the right composition can be tricky because you want to include as few elements as possible to convey the message, but enough substance to create a good user experience while taking SEO results into account.

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Maintaining Brand Consistency Across Social Media

You want each of your social media sites to look like they are all from the same company so you can create a strong connection with visitors.

From your website, to your marketing materials, to each of your social media accounts, brand consistency is essential in building trust with new or existing customers. But, since just about anyone can create and populate a social media site for their business, sometimes this attention to consistency can get lost or overlooked.

So, how does your social media presence hold up when it comes to brand consistency? To get a sense, compare the following design basics of your website and marketing materials to your social media sites:  

Instead of just typing in your company name, your logo should be included as part of your cover image or avatar. In most cases, the same version of your logo should be used across all platforms. The more often your logo is seen from site to site, the better.

Assign a cover photo. Choose one of your images that is already recognizable to your customers, or, select one that has a similar visual treatment as your main website photos. The photos in your posts should also resemble images from your website. Shadowing, borders, filters, colors and other treatments should be the same or very similar.

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1019 Hits

Tips for Adding an Image Gallery to Your Website

Discuss the idea with your tech support or web development company to find out which galleries will be compatible with your site.

A website image gallery can be a dynamic and interactive way to share groups of images with your website visitors. Some galleries can be useful for maximizing website real estate, displaying a collection of numerous images in a small space, instead of having to scroll or click from page to page to see the images. Others can display a number of images at once making it fast and easy for visitors to find what they are looking for. There is a vast array of galleries available to choose from for whatever your goals are for displaying images on your site.

So, how do you begin to select the right gallery for your website? Below are some tips to help you begin the process.

  1. Examine the layouts that are available online.

    Find and test available image galleries and decide which display you would like best for your website.

    Here are just a few of the countless formats that are available for image galleries:

    • Carousel
      Revolving images that automatically rotate, or, are controlled by the user by clicking the arrow buttons.
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Web Design Tips: Pros/Cons of Large Header Images

Some sites rely so much on the effectiveness of image that they offer little or no keyword-rich content on the page that is necessary for search engine rankings.

Large, attractive header graphics on website home pages have been a trend for some time and not likely to go away anytime soon. And, why would they? A large image in the header of a website can have a very strong visual appeal. It can immediately attract attention and “wow” visitors. However, an image that is too large in size, or, not applied appropriately to a website, can negatively affect SEO and the overall user experience.

Here are some pros and cons regarding the use of large header images on websites.


It makes your site look up-to-date design-wise.
You want to be sure that your website looks modern, not dated. Using a large header image is what everyone else is doing right now, and following current trends can help you achieve a modern and current design aesthetic.

A large graphic demands attention.
We use photography and illustration because it catches the eye. If it’s done right, a large header image can inspire and engage the audience. It can instantly tell a story and convey a specific message very quickly.

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1548 Hits

Better Content Legibility for a Better User Experience

Points of emphasis will immediately guide the user to the most pertinent information and help readers who like to scan content.

For those who have worked in the industrial marketing space a long time, it’s clear that websites offer lots of advantages over other forms of marketing – easier to control the message and update it as often as necessary; inexpensive compared to print advertising and tradeshows; and relatively easy to generate leads – if the visitors come, stay long enough to explore your site and follow through with a request for more information or a quote.  

To make sure your website is functioning the way you want, it’s important to give site visitors the right kind of experience. The first step to is getting visitors to your website. The next step is keeping them there.

Content legibility is one of the most important elements in keeping visitors on your site. A confusing, cluttered site is going to chase users away, while a well-organized, well-balanced, easy-to-read site is going to gauge users’ interest. Good legibility helps users to quickly and easily find the information that they need for a better overall user experience.

Find out if your site follows some of the most pertinent legibility standards:


The fonts on your site should support the style you are looking to portray, but more-importantly, they should be easy to read. It’s okay to use a more decorative font for areas of minimal text, but not for large areas of content.

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1386 Hits

5 Tips for a Successful Website Pre-Production Meeting

Over time, this comprehensive list of questions has proven to be the best way to communicate to your designer how you want your site to look and function.

5 Tips for a Successful Website Pre-Production Meeting 

Before you undertake a website redesign, it will be important to have a pre-production meeting, which will provide the information necessary for your designer to gain a clear picture and understanding of what you want on your website. In the meeting, topics will be discussed such as, the nature of your company, website goals, website likes and dislikes, styles, colors, etc. The thoroughness of the information that you provide will play a significant factor in how happy you are with the final design of your website.

Follow these five steps to help you prepare for your pre-design meeting. Doing so will help the meeting go quickly, smoothly, and will help you get the results you are looking for in your website design.

1. Review all materials provided to you about the meeting.
This meeting is the information-gathering phase of the website design process and is probably the most significant stage in the project. That is why it is so important to be prepared for the initial project discussion. Read over all of the materials(often including a detailed questionnaire)  that have been provided so you can give meaningful input on the information and questions that have been prepared for the initial discussion.

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1696 Hits

No Time to Stall When it Comes to B2B Web Redesign

You should feel a serious sense of urgency to get your website and your B2B SEO in shape

Despite continued uncertainty about industry-related federal policies, news out this month from the Institute for Supply Management indicates that manufacturing continues to grow.

In fact, the institute reported that U.S. manufacturing expanded in February at its fastest pace since August 2014. And it doesn’t look like a fluke. The February increase extends a six-month trend of improving numbers.

But what does this have to do with B2B SEO and website design? Plenty.

As the scene continues to heat up, manufacturers – including your customers and prospects – are going to be looking for the goods and services they need to keep up with the growing demand. Does your company have a website and internet marketing program set to capitalize on these trends?

This is a good time to take a long, hard look at your corporate website to find an answer to that question. For starters, does your site:

  • Provide the right message to prospects and clients?
  • Offer accurate, up-to-date information on products and services?
  • List your company’s address, phone number and email clearly and correctly?
  • Include contact forms that work – and go to the right people?

Lastly, would you want to do business with a company that has a website like this?

If you can answer yes to all of those questions, good for you. Your next step is to see if you’ve got the proper SEO in place to bring in new, qualified prospects. Again, a few simple questions will do the trick. Do you know:

  • The number of visitors that reach your website via the search engines?
  • The most important search terms (and phrases) that prospects use to find your products and services?
  •  Your current search engine ranking for each of those terms?

Is each page of your website optimized to rank well on one or more of those terms?

And, again, if the answer is yes to all of those questions, good for you.  Now, you can gear up your content marketing and link building to keep your website ranking well and pulling in new leads.

Ahhh, there’s the rub. Do you have a content marketing and link building program in place? Do you know the most effective strategies to successfully develop such a program?

Don’t feel bad if the answer is “no” to this or to any of the earlier questions. With company employees spread thin and wearing many hats, it’s easy to forget about SEO and internet marketing.

While you don’t need to feel bad, you do need to feel a serious sense of urgency to get your website and your B2B SEO in shape to take advantage of the potential for increased demand.

Not only is manufacturing growing, but so is the number of B2B marketers relying on the search engines as a source of new leads. According to the 2017 State of B2B Digital Marketing Report, 63 percent of survey participants indicated that organic search topped their lists as a leading channel for revenue growth.

You can bet those respondents are getting their corporate websites and SEO plans in order. And your company will need to as well or get left in the dust by those better prepared to capitalize on improving manufacturing conditions.

The most effective way to not get left behind is to find a B2B SEO and website company that can help you create the right Internet marketing program to reach your prospects. You’ll want to look for a company that has a proven track record, experience in your industry and the knack for listening to and meeting your needs, not pigeon-holing you into a one-size-fits-all approach.

If you’re ready to build a website and B2B SEO program geared to your company’s success, contact Pilot Fish today by submitting this simple form or by calling 877-799-9994 ext. 2102.

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2101 Hits

A Better User Experience = Better B2B SEO

Pages with infinite scroll present a fatal flaw when it comes to B2B SEO.

As we’ve mentioned from time to time, this is not your father’s B2B SEO.

Search engine algorithms and SEO practices have changed dramatically over the years, and “just” having good content is no longer enough.

One of the major changes is the fact that the way people interact with your website now affects how the site itself is ranked by the search engines.

Search engines, Google in particular, have begun using “engagement” as a secondary factor that influences a page’s search engine ranking for any specific term.

Search engines usually measure engagement by how long a search engine user stays on a particular page. If someone clicks on a link and then clicks immediately back to the list of results, the search engines assume the page didn’t provide the required information and view that page as having lower engagement. If someone clicks on a link and stays on the page before returning to the search engine, that page is seen as being more useful and having better engagement.

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1547 Hits

Is it Time for a Review of Your CMS-based Website?

To get the most out of your CMS, it is wise to upgrade when updates are available.

If your website is controlled by a content management system (CMS) and you are making the edits yourself, you might want to occasionally have your web developer review the site to make sure you are on the right track. Doing so can positively impact the overall appearance, and the performance, of your website.

Here are the items that you should have your website developer review and why.


If you’ve previously had your website optimized by and SEO expert, you’ll want to take care when editing the text on your site that you don’t change or overwrite any optimized content. A review of your site will help your SEO consultant determine whether your website pages are performing as planned on Google or whether additional work to meta tags or content should be done to bring your site’s SEO up to the latest standards.


Without the eye for detail that a professional graphic designer has, it’s possible that over time, DIY changes to images and graphics on your site can impact the design integrity. Your website designer can help you regain balance of site elements and make sure the image treatments (such as borders, margins, sizes, proportions, color treatments, etc.) are consistent throughout the site.


Adding, moving or deleting pages within a CMS can affect more than just navigation buttons. It’s good to review your site periodically to make sure that internal navigational links all still point to live pages and that your site navigation is still working properly throughout the site. 


Have your site reviewed for broken links, missing graphics, videos, PDFs, etc., that may have occurred along the way. The site will should be reviewed for any missing target tags, which are useful in keeping visitors on your site for a longer period of time.


Consistency in typography builds trust with site visitors. Your designer will check for, and repair, any inconsistencies in fonts, font sizes, font colors, and, font treatments.

Responsive Design

When edits or upgrades are made, sometimes the responsive design can be affected. A review of the responsive design can flag any coding mishaps that could jeopardize the appearance of your site on other devices.

Latest CMS Upgrades and Testing

To get the most out of your CMS, it is wise to upgrade when updates are available. (Upgrading will help with the security of your site, giving you the best possible protection against hackers. Upgrades can also supply you with new features and technologies for your CMS, which will help you to maximize the value of your CMS investment.) Your web developer can install these CMS upgrades for you. The frontend and backend of the site will be examined for any errors or glitches that the upgrade might have caused so these issues can be addressed and resolved in a timely manner.

While going through the review and edit process with your developer, it’s also a good time to make updates to the things that you are unable to edit, or just don’t have time to edit, yourself, such as, headers, sliders, footers, or, any other parts of the CMS framework.

For assistance with your website design, contact Pilot Fish or call 877-799-9994 ext. 2102.

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1562 Hits

Effective Website Design: Use Motion to Create Visual Expression

Less is definitely more when it comes to any type of animation or movement

Attracting visitors to your website can sometimes be a challenge. Keeping them there can be even more of a challenge. Luckily, these days, there are a lot of effective website design techniques available that can help to not only attract visitors, but to keep visitors interested and engaged in your message and what you have to offer.

One effective website design technique that can help interest and retain visitors is the use of motion. Below are some techniques that can be used to create motion, bring energy to your site, make it more enticing for visitors to engage in and make it more memorable.

An image slider is a fantastic, eye-catching way of getting a lot of visual information into a limited amount space. Instead of only having one image and tagline to showcase your products or services, your website design can feature a creative, interactive, frame by frame animation to help tell your story and direct site visitors to various important sections of your site.

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3174 Hits

Google’s Move to Mobile-First Rankings Affects 2017 SEO Strategy

Mobile-friendliness is now part of Google’s complex SEO algorithm

It’s a mobile-first world now – whether you actually use your own phone for web searches or not – and your B2B website needs to adjust to today’s reality if you hope for SEO success in 2017.

When the Internet was new, there were only desktop computers, and so all the search engines viewed and ranked websites based on how they looked and operated on a desktop computer.

But now, with most Google searches being performed on mobile devices, Google has decided to begin viewing websites from a mobile perspective, meaning all searches, even those performed on desktop computers, will return results that prioritize sites built in responsive design. 

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Like Trade Shows, SEO Only Works if You’re There

The virtual trade show is Google, and SEO works to position your site in the main aisle.

While discussing 2017 marketing budget planning with a prospective client, he asked me to help him come up with a compelling argument to present his management for why search engine optimization (SEO) for Google is so important.

The answer came to me while meeting with a company at a tradeshow recently. 

“What would your boss say if you suggested that your company not exhibit at any tradeshows?” I asked.  The answer seemed pretty obvious.  “We have to be here.  All our competitors are here, our customers expect us to be here, and we generate new leads among prospective customers.”

The follow-up question, for those who manage trade shows for their companies, also seemed fairly obvious: “Does it make a difference where your booth is at the show?  What if it were in that far corner in the back, would that impact the number of leads you get?”

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Custom Website Designs vs. CMS Design Templates

Custom designs are built from the ground up and around your company’s exact needs, specifications, and branding.

When it’s time for a web site redesign, one of the decisions your company may need to make is whether to use a CMS design template or create a custom website design.

A CMS design template is a generic website design that is typically available at little cost to enable businesses to easily and quickly build and launch a new website.

It can be tempting to choose the inexpensive route of a CMS website template. There are many popular sites where you can download and install a template and have your website up and running in a relatively short period of time.

Generally speaking, these CMS templates are easy to use, require minimal effort to set up and are offered at little to no price. Although this might be the right choice for some, it is well worth evaluating the valuable benefits of a custom website design, especially if it is within your budget.

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1911 Hits

6 Tips for Sending Images to Your Website Designer

Be sure to name and organize your files in a folder structure that exactly reflects your website outline or site map

Many of the website design projects that we produce are time-sensitive to our clients. The sooner the site is live, the better. One way you, as a client, can help in keeping your website design project moving along quickly is by following these 6 tips for sending images to your website designer.

  1. Use a remote server to share your image files
    If you are using a shared, remote server, such as, cloud computing, Dropbox, or any other FTP tool – this is ideal. Here, images and image folders can be seen and discussed by both you and your designer in a common, and always up-to-date, environment throughout the entire design process. If the information is well organized, your designer can quickly access the files and there will be little to no guessing about where the images should be placed on your website.
  2. When using a remote server, be sure to name and organize your files in a folder structure that exactly reflects your website outline or site map. See the simplified example below for reference.

    In each of the subfolders, include the images that will go on the corresponding page. 


    It’s understandable that not all images will be available at the same time. As additional images become available, just upload those files to the remote server in the proper folder and let your designer know which new images have been provided.
  3. Name your files in an intuitive, descriptive way
    Avoid using generic, meaningless image file names, or, image names that have been assigned by a digital camera. Instead, use descriptive file names that leverage keywords used on your site for SEO.


  4. Follow the rules of acceptable file naming

    Rule 1: No caps



    Rule 2: No spaces

    seo company building.jpg


    Rule 3: No special characters

    Do not use characters such as: " < > # % { } | \ ^ ~ [ ] `.



  5. Provide a document indicating any image captions and/or special instructions
    If you are including captions with your images, please provide a document with the image name and corresponding caption. If you have any additional notes or instructions, please include those as well. This information could be provided in a simple word document with specifications that reflect the sample “About Us” page information below:

    Image name:
    Caption: Our corporate headquarters, built in 1974, is located in Akron, Ohio.
    Notes: This image is very important to us. Please place it in a prominent position near the top of the page.

  6. If you are sending images via email, provide a descriptive email subject line
    Sending images via email is OK, but not ideal. Usually, designers like high resolution images to work with, but, because of large file sizes, will limit the number of images that can be sent through each email. Usually, the images have to be sent one, or only a few at a time, which could eventually become tedious and time consuming to sift through. But, there will be times when emailing an image could be the only available method. If this is the case, please be sure to use a descriptive subject line and detailed message so your designer can easily determine the nature and placement of the images in the email.

    Email subject line: Attached is a new image for the website

    Email message: Please use this in place of the image that I sent last week.

    Email subject line: Your Company Name | Website redesign | Replacement corporate headquarters building image for “About Us” page

    Email message: Please use the attached, updated image in place of “seo-company-building.jpg”, which I emailed on 08/03/16.

Following these tips will:

  1. Save time for your web design company, which will keep your project moving along much faster;
  2. Save you time by requiring less back-and-forth communication between you and your website designer or project manager and fewer questions for you to answer.

Ready to start your website redesign? Contact Pilot Fish or call 877-799-9994 ext. 2102 for a quote or more information.

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1475 Hits

Maintaining the Integrity of Your B2B Website Design

The amount of time that a B2B website takes to make an impression on a visitor could only be an instant.

B2B companies serious about using their websites as a marketing/sales tool need to ensure that their website design presents a professional appearance that fits the personality and communication style of the business. The best way to do that is to entrust your B2B website design into the talented hands of a professional web designer -- who can interpret the design needs of your business based on a review of your marketing materials and discussion with key decision makers -- rather than someone who will slap your text and images on a common WordPress template.

Below are the factors that a professional website designer will consider as they create your new B2B website.   

The Perfect Design for Your B2B Website

Graphic designers are always striving for perfection. They obsess over the color, size and placement of every component of every design down to the last pixel. They can work on designs for hours, days, weeks, or even longer, but still continue to want to make improvements. They will continually move elements around the page to make the design just a little bit better, a little more balanced, a little bit more organized, or to get that alignment just right.

The amount of time that a B2B website takes to make an impression on a visitor could only be an instant. Subconsciously, we notice perfection, or imperfections, of which we are not even aware. It is the job of your designer to pay attention to all of those subtleties and to create a design that is as flawless as possible. The professionalism of your website and brand depends on it.

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1458 Hits

The Time for Responsive Web Design is Now

You may delay,
but time will not.”
– Ben Franklin

Technology does not move in reverse. So, if you still haven’t made the transition to responsive web design, now is the time. Even if you are happy with your current website design, responsive design is imperative by today’s standards. You can stick with the same look and feel, but your site will have to be modified to work under a new grid structure.

Here are some reasons you shouldn’t wait any longer to make the transition:

  • Google prefers responsive design. Your SEO results could, and probably will, suffer without it. 
  • Mobile users are still continuing to grow in number. Device flexibility will give your site a much larger audience.
  • Mobile users have grown to expect responsive sites and can lose patience with sites that are not. They could give up and look to your competitors instead.
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